16th March 2021 · On-Line Afternoon Meeting: Half a Century Has Passed

Presenter: Geoff May

Our “Zoom” season continued on Tuesday afternoon 16th March (in place of our regular spring afternoon meeting in Redhill) with a presentation by Geoff May entitled “Half a Century Has Passed”. This of course commemorated the final months of steam on the Southern Region in July 1967, and on the whole of B.R. the following year. Geoff’s presentation showed a multitude of Bulleid Pacifics during these final months on trains such as the 06.49 Salisbury to Waterloo and the Bournebouth Belle. In the latter case this usually resulted from the failure or non-availability of the diagrammed Brush Type 4 (later Class 47) diesel locomotive. Also illustrated during these months were B.R. Class 3 2-6-0 no. 77014 on a permanent way train, B.R. Class 5 4-6-0 no. 73029 in Brunswick green livery at Exeter St. Davids, B.R. class 4 2-6-4T no. 80152 and an Ivatt 2-6-2T on the Lymington Branch and double-headed workings on the climb from Weymouth to Dorchester. For the secon half, Geoff moved on to the following year, 1968. Among the attractions for enthusiasts at this time were the few Britannia 4-6-2s remaining at Carlisle Kingmoor (12A). Consequently Geoff showed us photographs of these in the far north of England including Shap and Tebay. After the withdrawal of these few survivors enthusiasts’ attentions turned to the Manchester area. Now the focus was on filthy Class 5 4-6-0s and 8F 2-8-0-s. A few had received some attention from the “Neverers”- a group of amateur enthusiasts who had been illicitly cleaning some of these locomotives in the last few months before the end came in August. The final weekend saw the crowds gathering for 1T57, “The Fifteen Guinea Special”.